Intro to Babywearing
Babywearing newborns (especially skin-to-skin) helps them regulate body temp, stimulate bonding hormones and encourages breastfeeding. The added bonus being that when our babies are wrapped on our bodies, unwanted interactions from strangers are minimized or downright eliminated.
Babywearing helps us keep up with work and life. Anything you can safely do while holding your baby in your arms can also be done while wearing them on your body.
It is much more convenient and safer to babywear than carry an infant around in a car seat. Grocery shopping is a breeze with babywearing. Car seats are not meant to “click” onto shopping cart. By wearing your baby your cart will be empty for groceries, your baby will be safe and warm, and you get to use both of your hands!
When we wear our babies, we tend to narrate what we're doing and talk to them constantly. We sing, ask them questions, list off the ingredients we need for dinner -- they love to hear our voice, plus this helps them develop language and social skills. Babywearing is also a good practice for peace of mind. We always know they are safe because we can feel, hear, see and sense them on our body.
Types of Babywearing Gear
Stretchy Wrap: A length of stretchy fabric, usually jersey cotton, that is tied. Great for newborns and little babies, but can become less useful as baby gets heavier (due to the nature of the stretchy material). It can be pre-tied onto the wearer and then baby can be popped in and out of the carrier as needed. This type of carrier is suitable for front carries only and should never be worn on the back.
Hybrid Wrap: A sturdier version of a stretchy wrap. Can be pre-tied just as a stretchy wrap but is a special jersey fabric that lends itself to heavier weighted/older babies. Hybrid wraps are a wonderful starting point for someone who is not used to wrapping and wants to learn how before investing in a woven wrap. Unlike the stretchy wrap, hybrid wraps are safe for back carries. SHOP HYBRID WRAPS >
Ring Sling: A length of fabric (can be made out of a woven wrap aka "wrap converted ring sling" or other suitable woven fabric) with a pair of rings sewn into one end. Used for one-shouldered carries on front or hip, good for newborns up to preschooler. Ring slings are easy to use, great for quick ups and downs for toddlers who frequently change their minds. They are also easy to nurse in and compact enough to stash in a diaper bag for travel or running errands. SHOP RING SLINGS >
Soft Structured Carrier (SSC): Has a body panel with straps similar to backpack straps that go over the arms and a waist belt that buckles to secure it. Avoids the problem of dangling straps in wet, muddy weather! Soft structured carriers are easy to learn and quick to use. Most come in either one-size or an infant size and a toddler size. Whether it's a one-sized carrier or an infant, most require the use of an infant insert when being used with a newborn baby and then can be used with larger infants. As the child grows and their legs become longer, it is usually necessary to move up to a toddler-sized carrier. Generally, you know you are ready to size up when the fabric under the baby's bottom no longer reaches from knee-to-knee. SHOP SOFT STRUCTURED CARRIERS >
Woven Wrap: A length of woven fabric, sold in a variety of sizes and fiber blends, which is tied into place. Can be used to carry from newborn to preschooler. Is suitable for front, back or hip carries - of which there are a large variety of different carries. Woven wraps tend to have a steeper learning curve than a ring sling or a soft structured carrier but, if you're willing to take the time to learn, can ultimately end up being your most used baby item. Woven wraps are the most versatile of these options, allowing you to carry a newborn through toddlerhood in a variety of positions using just one carrier. SHOP WOVEN WRAPS >
Mei Tai: An Asian-style carrier that is tied, it has a body panel with two long straps coming from the top right and left-hand corners to tie with two waist straps coming from either base corner. Various sizes available. Some have padded waistbands, others not. Can be used for front or back carries. SHOP MEI TAIS >
No matter what type of carrier you choose, you can be confident knowing you are providing your baby the safety and security they crave while also being able to be hands-free!